Amex is Stripping Restaurant Credits from Priority Pass Membership

amex priority pass

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Priority Pass is a network of more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide that you can get free with certain credit cards. But one of the best perks isn’t a lounge at all: You can also get credits ($28 for you and a guest, generally) to eat at a growing number of airport restaurants.

It’s a great benefit – perhaps too great. American Express confirmed with View From the Wing that it will stop including those restaurant credits as of Aug. 1. That means American Express cards that come with free Priority Pass memberships like the American Express Platinum, the Hilton Aspire card, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, and others will no longer be eligible for these free meals.

“The Priority Pass Membership benefit offered … will no longer include complimentary access to non-lounge airport experiences,” an American Express spokesperson said.


Amex Priority Pass


That leaves the Chase Sapphire Reserve as the best way to get an unrestricted Priority Pass membership … at least for now. These restaurant credits have clearly turned into an expensive problem for credit card issuers. A Chase representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the bank will continue covering restaurant credits for Priority Pass members.

The Citi Prestige card also comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, and that benefit hasn’t changed either.


Our Analysis

This is a tough one to swallow.

The American Express Platinum card still offers unrivaled airport lounge access. In addition to the Priority Pass lounges, you can get into the growing number of great (yet often crowded) American Express Centurion lounges, like the Las Vegas Centurion Lounge. You can use Delta SkyClubs so long as you’re flying Delta that day. And finally, you can access Escape Lounges including our hometown favorite, Escape Lounge MSP. 


Amex Priority Pass


But many airport lounges in the U.S. are pretty mediocre – especially Priority Pass offerings. So being able to get a nearly $30 meal at select restaurants for free was a great perk. That’s now disappearing for the American Express Platinum card and other, top-of-the-line co-branded Amex cards.

Credit cards are a cutthroat business for the big banks. They’re constantly fighting for a spot in your wallet with big points bonuses and travel perks.

So only time will tell whether Chase and Citi will continue covering these credits on their top-tier cards.


Bottom Line

You’ve only got a few more months to get some free meals with your American Express Platinum and Priority Pass card. Check out the list of participating restaurants, and be sure to go before this benefit disappears Aug. 1.


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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

7 Responses

  1. Benjamin Troemel says:

    I was just considering upgrading my Hilton Amex to the Aspire for the various benefits. This seems like is reducing the benefits enough that maybe it isn’t worth the $450 annual fee.

    • Kyle Potter says:

      While this is definitely a bummer, there’s still a lot to like about the Hilton Aspire beyond lounge access and Priority Pass that can easily outweigh the fee. $250 airline credit and $250 resort statement credit can automatically wipe out the annual fee.

  2. Benjamin says:

    Thank you for the input Kyle.

  3. Griffin says:

    This is a huge kick in the groin. Question: At MSP, the only Priority Pass lounge is the PGA Lounge (excluding the 2 Delta lounges). Once youre in, you get a $15 credit for food, drink or golf stuff. Does this credit get wiped out too?

    • Kyle Potter says:

      Not 100% with a unique lounge like the PGA Lounge but I’m fairly certain that credit will disappear as well.

  4. Becky says:

    Bummer getting my coffee and lunch at French Meadow in MSP is standard practice. I hope Chase doesn’t follow suit.

  5. A huge blow to LAX members traveling internationally. The Alaska Lounge is inconveniently located (and tiny) so P F Chang’s was the best / only option for Bradley departures not flying in 1st.

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